"Official" Manchester Election Guides

Yesterday I received in the mail two election guides for the upcoming elections in the city I live (Manchester, NH). At first thought, I was thinking “this is neat, someone actually took the time to do the public a service and inform us of the candidates.” In fact, I was wishing more places did this.

Well, I want to explain how shady these guides really are.

The first one I open up is titled “Official Manchester City Election Guide.” At first glance, you would think that it was put out by the election commission or whoever runs the commission. Or perhaps put out by a local newspaper with the blessings of both candidates.

Nope, wrong on both counts. Somehow an “Official Manchester City Election Guide” ends up being “Paid for by Manchester Republican City Committee, Cliff Hurst, Chairman.”

Of course this guide has every negative story possible on the current Mayor of Manchester, Bob Baines, who coincidently is a Democrat. The big headline at the top of the page? An innocent looking “Mayor’s Race: Too Close To Call” but then right below it, “Guinta’s momentum can’t be slowed.” Frank Guinta of course is the Republican running for Mayor.

Now the Democrats aren’t innocent either. The other guide I received? Yep, that is right, it is called “City Election Guide.” Not surprisingly, the front page of it has articles on the police endorsing Baines, his plans for schools, an article blasting the “Do-Nothing Alderman” who is running against him, etc. Paid for by “the New Hampshire Democratic Party” of course.

Talk about awful politics. Both parties attempting to release “official looking” guides to the election and trying to pass them off as objective looks at an election, when they clearly aren’t.

Even worse, both parties go to strong lengths to hide who paid for these guides. Nothing is on either front page with the name of who paid for these ads. For the Democrats, they have a small blurb in the bottom left-hand corner of the 2nd page. Even worse, the Republican’s notice on who paid for this? Last page, very bottom a dark blue section with white hard-to-read font.

And they wonder why people don’t vote anymore.

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